Estate Documents

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shilpat
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Estate Documents

Post by shilpat » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:07 pm

We were advised to do estate planning. What documents do I need for estate planning? Where can I have templates that can be used?

RickBoglehead
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Re: estate Documents

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:12 pm

I'd suggest that instead of looking for documents to fill out, you do some reading to understand what estate planning consists of.

I suggest you read this very easy to understand book, Living Trusts For Everyone : : Why A Will Is Not The Way To Avoid Probate, Protect Heirs, And Settle Estates by Ronald Farrington Sharp.

Estate planning is not as simple as filling in forms.

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aspirit
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Re: estate Documents

Post by aspirit » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:24 pm

Nolo's "101 Law Forms" (templates actually) for personal use might work. :happy
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

bsteiner
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Re: estate Documents

Post by bsteiner » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:32 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:12 pm
I'd suggest that instead of looking for documents to fill out, you do some reading to understand what estate planning consists of.

I suggest you read this very easy to understand book, Living Trusts For Everyone ....

Estate planning is not as simple as filling in forms.
That doesn't sound like a book I would want to spend time reading. Living trusts make sense in some cases, and in some states, but they're overhyped and oversold, and for most people, in most states, aren't necessary.

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celia
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Re: estate Documents

Post by celia » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:37 pm

Filling out forms is easy. Understanding what your options are (which usually aren't reflected that much in the forms) and making decisions about things you have never considered before (eg, what do you want to happen to your assets if your beneficiaries/executor/trustee die before you) is the hard part.

Start by reading as much as you can. Get a free consultation from an estate planning lawyer (or attend their "orientation" seminars, which I recommend so you can also hear questions that others ask).

Also recognize that estate laws are defined by the state you live in so there are variations from state to state, in particular if you are in a community property state vs a common law state.

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cheese_breath
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Re: estate Documents

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:38 pm

I wouldn't trust templates for something as serious as this. IMO it's worth paying an attorney to do it right. You don't get a second chance to fix any mistakes after you're gone.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

RickBoglehead
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Re: estate Documents

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:39 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:32 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:12 pm
I'd suggest that instead of looking for documents to fill out, you do some reading to understand what estate planning consists of.

I suggest you read this very easy to understand book, Living Trusts For Everyone ....

Estate planning is not as simple as filling in forms.
That doesn't sound like a book I would want to spend time reading. Living trusts make sense in some cases, and in some states, but they're overhyped and oversold, and for most people, in most states, aren't necessary.
Well, since you haven't read it, you wouldn't know if the author explains that, would you? :wink:

I read it, found it very helpful to understand the estate process, as well as how often a lawyer might be motivated to ensure that the client, or client's heirs, need to come back for more services, whether with a will or a trust, and how the client can take steps upfront to discourage/remove that issue.

bsteiner
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Re: estate Documents

Post by bsteiner » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:51 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:39 pm

I read it, found it very helpful to understand the estate process, as well as how often a lawyer might be motivated to ensure that the client, or client's heirs, need to come back for more services, whether with a will or a trust, and how the client can take steps upfront to discourage/remove that issue.
We encourage clients to do as much of the legwork as they can in an estate administration. We don't collect bank accounts any better than our clients, and it's expensive for us to do so.

However, very few clients are able to do estate tax returns, advise as to the elections in connection with estate tax returns, assign taxpayer identification numbers to estates and trusts, do or review fiduciary income tax returns, advise as to disclaimers and prepare disclaimers if appropriate, deal with retirement benefits, advise as to which assets to distribute to which recipients and when, negotiate sales of businesses, deal with uncooperative beneficiaries, and do all of the other things that have to be done when someone dies.

retiringwhen
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Re: estate Documents

Post by retiringwhen » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:46 pm

The OP's request is pretty open ended. My wife and I did a major restructure of our estate plan (from simple per stirpes wills to more complicated irrevocable trusts and such) under some significant time pressure due to changed circumstances.

After the dust settled, I finally decided to read up more on the estate planning process.

I strongly suggest you do some basic reading on the why, whats and hows of an estate plan before going to a lawyer. We used an excellent lawyer who specializes in estate planning, and he asked excellent questions, but frankly we weren't prepared to answer them to our own (not his) satisfaction. We ended up with a plan that is sub-optimal but okay because we didn't know what we wanted. The survey, Q&A and discovery with the lawyer was only as good as we could make it (he was not a mind reader).

I read the following book afterwards, plus did a bunch random reading on the Internet. I would like a do-over now, and we plan on revisiting it again in 24-36 months. Lesson, do your homework first.

The book I suggest is: Jeffery Condon's "Beyond the Grave". http://a.co/d/cnx0jtb It leans towards Living Trusts, but overall gives you a long list of what-if's that you should consider when doing an estate plan. (We do not have a need for Living Trusts, as we living in a relatively simple Probate state.)

Before the events that caused us to re-do our plan occurred, I would have thought this book was scare mongering. Instead, we experienced 4 major issues addressed in this book and saw one very well planned estate plan run into unforeseen (to the decedent) complications that were telegraphed in this book. Spending 5 or 6 hours reading the book and identifying the major areas of concern required for an estate plan will make you much more informed before seeing the lawyer to ensure your plan is as simple or as complicated as necessary.

If you end up with a very simple per stirpes will (my term for just saying who get's what...) you will know that is all you needed. Everyone is unique and their family and financial situation is unique, so make sure you understand your needs.

retiringwhen
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Re: estate Documents

Post by retiringwhen » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:48 pm

BTW, bsteiner answered several of my questions on BH that helped us understand our needs. He is a great resource, ignore his sage advice at your peril :D

Gill
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Gill » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:42 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:39 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:32 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:12 pm
I'd suggest that instead of looking for documents to fill out, you do some reading to understand what estate planning consists of.

I suggest you read this very easy to understand book, Living Trusts For Everyone ....

Estate planning is not as simple as filling in forms.
That doesn't sound like a book I would want to spend time reading. Living trusts make sense in some cases, and in some states, but they're overhyped and oversold, and for most people, in most states, aren't necessary.
Well, since you haven't read it, you wouldn't know if the author explains that, would you? :wink:

I read it, found it very helpful to understand the estate process, as well as how often a lawyer might be motivated to ensure that the client, or client's heirs, need to come back for more services, whether with a will or a trust, and how the client can take steps upfront to discourage/remove that issue.
I suspect you didn't know to whom you were replying. bsteiner (Bruce Steiner) is a prominent New York City trusts and estates attorney and recognized by other attorneys as well as clients as an authority in the field. You would do well to listen to his advice.
Gill

RickBoglehead
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Re: estate Documents

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:46 pm

Gill wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:42 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:39 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:32 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:12 pm
I'd suggest that instead of looking for documents to fill out, you do some reading to understand what estate planning consists of.

I suggest you read this very easy to understand book, Living Trusts For Everyone ....

Estate planning is not as simple as filling in forms.
That doesn't sound like a book I would want to spend time reading. Living trusts make sense in some cases, and in some states, but they're overhyped and oversold, and for most people, in most states, aren't necessary.
Well, since you haven't read it, you wouldn't know if the author explains that, would you? :wink:

I read it, found it very helpful to understand the estate process, as well as how often a lawyer might be motivated to ensure that the client, or client's heirs, need to come back for more services, whether with a will or a trust, and how the client can take steps upfront to discourage/remove that issue.
I suspect you didn't know to whom you were replying. bsteiner (Bruce Steiner) is a prominent New York City trusts and estates attorney and a well known authority in the field. You would do well to listen to his advice.
Gill
Perhaps he should have identified himself as such before saying that he wouldn't spend his time reading the book that I recommended. If I were Mr. Steiner, I wouldn't read it either. But OP should read it.

Reading before visiting an attorney is being advocated by several of the responders.

Island John
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Island John » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:55 pm

I live in California. Here are the estate planning documents that have been created for my wife and me.

Last Will and Testament
Living Trust
Durable Power of Attorney for Property
Health Care Directive (including Power of Attorney for Health Care)
HIIPPA release

I was recently responsible for settling my mother’s estate. She had a similar set of documents. Each of the documents came into play at different points along the way and proved to be extremely valuable to have in place. I found that working with her lawyer and receiving that professional guidance made the whole process much less stressful. And the fact that I was working with my mother’s lawyer gave my siblings confidence that the estate was being handled correctly. It’s possible that I would have made mistakes, maybe costly mistakes, without the lawyer’s guidance. I want my children to have the benefit of having the same documents in place and similar professional guidance available when they are settling my estate.

Gill
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Gill » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:36 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:46 pm
Perhaps he should have identified himself as such before saying that he wouldn't spend his time reading the book that I recommended. If I were Mr. Steiner, I wouldn't read it either.
He is widely known on Bogleheads and doesn't need to introduce himself.
Gill

gretah
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Re: estate Documents

Post by gretah » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:06 pm

ITA with reading, learning, then hiring an attorney for consult and drawing up documents.

I found these resources helpful. Most can be obtained from your library. They are popular, so request them rather than expect them to be available on the shelf.

Books
Making the Most of Your Money Now
and
How to Make Your Money Last
by Jane Quinn
The first book is the most comprehensive encyclopedia of concepts and tools for personal finance for the lay person in the US. Her explanations and advice are sound and simply written. The second book focuses on preserving funds through retirement.

Plan Your Estate
by Denis Clifford for Nolo Press
Great overview of all aspects of retirement and estate planning except how to anticipate and pay for medical expenses. Includes Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts, ways to avoid probate, and more. Terrific book to read before speaking to an estate planning attorney and insurance brokers.

8 Ways to Avoid Probate
by Mary Randolph for Nolo Press
Tools like Transfer on Death for real estate and vehicles, Payment on Death for bank accounts, and Trusts can be used to move parts of your estate into the possession of your heirs without the delay of probating your will. Avoiding probate is not a scheme to avoid taxes. This book expands on the information in the Plan Your Estate book.


Make your Own Living Trust
by Denis Clifford for Nolo Press
This book talks about Revocable Living Trusts and how to easily create one yourself. I initially read this book to learn about Trusts: what they can and cannot do so I would be informed about the issues when I met with a lawyer. But setting up a simple one turned out to be surprising easy so I did it and put my investments into it. (I had to make some changes to the book’s forms to comply with WA law.) This created a simple safe harbor for the investments. I’m still studying about other kinds of Trusts so I’ll be informed when my inheritance arrives and I can get an expert attorney to create a more comprehensive Trust.

Living Trusts for Everyone:
Why a Will is Not the Way to Avoid Probate, Protect Heirs, and Settle Estates
by Ron Sharp

Long-term Care: How to Plan and Pay for it
by JL Matthews for Nolo Press


The 5 Years Before You Retire
by Emily Birken
Good light overview of all aspects of retirement, including medical / long term care expenses, which is not covered in most books on retirement.


Article
Planning for Health Care Costs in Retirement
Online article published by Vanguard. Very thorough.
https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/ISGPLHC.pdf

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Peter Foley
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:05 pm

In addition to the books recommended by gretah, you may want to take a look at a few of the checklists provided by Ed Slott in his book Your Complete Retirement Planning Road Map.

The checklists are good starting points for a number of aspects of retirement planning. It starts with an inventory of accounts and goes on from there.

2015
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Re: estate Documents

Post by 2015 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:31 am

Island John wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:55 pm
I live in California. Here are the estate planning documents that have been created for my wife and me.

Last Will and Testament
Living Trust
Durable Power of Attorney for Property
Health Care Directive (including Power of Attorney for Health Care)
HIIPPA release

I was recently responsible for settling my mother’s estate. She had a similar set of documents. Each of the documents came into play at different points along the way and proved to be extremely valuable to have in place. I found that working with her lawyer and receiving that professional guidance made the whole process much less stressful. And the fact that I was working with my mother’s lawyer gave my siblings confidence that the estate was being handled correctly. It’s possible that I would have made mistakes, maybe costly mistakes, without the lawyer’s guidance. I want my children to have the benefit of having the same documents in place and similar professional guidance available when they are settling my estate.
Exactly what I have in CA. Before serving as executor of an estate, and later while serving as executor, guidance of an attorney was extremely extremely helpful. It didn't hurt that I'd read Nolo's guide to estate planning and had done much other preparation in advance.

RickBoglehead
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Re: estate Documents

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:45 am

gretah wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:06 pm

Living Trusts for Everyone:
Why a Will is Not the Way to Avoid Probate, Protect Heirs, and Settle Estates
by Ron Sharp
Hmm. 2 non-lawyers recommending the same book. :thumbsup

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cheese_breath
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Re: estate Documents

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:16 am

Island John wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:55 pm
I live in California. Here are the estate planning documents that have been created for my wife and me.

Last Will and Testament
Living Trust
Durable Power of Attorney for Property
Health Care Directive (including Power of Attorney for Health Care)
HIIPPA release

....
Got the same thing in TX except it was HIPAA. :D

I always thought it was HIPPA until I received the documents from the lawyer. Even MI Blue Cross got it wrong when they made me made me submit to them before they'd allow me to update DW's address.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Island John
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Island John » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:38 am

Yes. HIPAA. Thanks for correcting my mistake.

retiringwhen
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Re: estate Documents

Post by retiringwhen » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:57 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:45 am
gretah wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:06 pm

Living Trusts for Everyone:
Why a Will is Not the Way to Avoid Probate, Protect Heirs, and Settle Estates
by Ron Sharp
Hmm. 2 non-lawyers recommending the same book. :thumbsup
As a non-lawyer, I will suggest that the need for Living Trust is probably alot more location (state of residence) than folks let on here. My parents have one (Arizona) and my wife and I don't (NJ). There a lot folks advocating/selling Living Trusts, when they may not make sense. Regardless, creating a decent will or Living Trust is only as complicated as your situation. Make sure you understand why you are creating an estate plan first, then decide which tool to use. These discussions get this fundamentally backwards way too often.

Some folks don't need much of a plan anyway if the majority of the assets are in retirement plans since they flow outside of any Will or Living Trust.

How you want to handle your home is probably the biggest decision for most folks and what you want to do is much more important than the tool.

Family businesses, blended families, special needs beneficiaries, etc. that is where it gets complicated fast.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:00 pm

Gill wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:36 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:46 pm
Perhaps he should have identified himself as such before saying that he wouldn't spend his time reading the book that I recommended. If I were Mr. Steiner, I wouldn't read it either.
He is widely known on Bogleheads and doesn't need to introduce himself.
Sorry, not going to agree with that. The OP is a new member. It's not reasonable to require him or her to do a forum search on everyone that replies to determine who is or is not an expert on the subject matter. If that information is relevant, then it should be mentioned at the start.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Gill
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Gill » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:19 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:00 pm
Gill wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:36 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:46 pm
Perhaps he should have identified himself as such before saying that he wouldn't spend his time reading the book that I recommended. If I were Mr. Steiner, I wouldn't read it either.
He is widely known on Bogleheads and doesn't need to introduce himself.
Sorry, not going to agree with that. The OP is a new member. It's not reasonable to require him or her to do a forum search on everyone that replies to determine who is or is not an expert on the subject matter. If that information is relevant, then it should be mentioned at the start.
:sharebeer

shilpat
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Re: estate Documents

Post by shilpat » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:11 pm

Thanks for all the responses. A little overwhelming for me to understand everything. But I will start with reading one of the books suggested.
Perhaps convince my husband to read one too :).

My main goal of estate planning is to make sure, that things are in order for the kids in case of unforeseen.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: estate Documents

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:27 pm

shilpat wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:11 pm
Thanks for all the responses. A little overwhelming for me to understand everything. But I will start with reading one of the books suggested.
Perhaps convince my husband to read one too :).

My main goal of estate planning is to make sure, that things are in order for the kids in case of unforeseen.
You won't understand everything and that's why you need an estate attorney to give you guidance and advice and explain your options. I constantly marvel at people I know who use 'form fillers' to create estate and trust documents. They may get it 80% right but how critical is the other 20%? They don't know.

There's no harm in reading and trying to understand as much as you can providing that you have the time and inclination, but my advice is to spend a couple thousand bucks on a good attorney and rest assured that (1) it's done right and, (2) your heirs have someone to help them deal with the details should something happen to you.

Good luck!
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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cheese_breath
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Re: estate Documents

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:56 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:27 pm
...
You won't understand everything and that's why you need an estate attorney to give you guidance and advice and explain your options. I constantly marvel at people I know who use 'form fillers' to create estate and trust documents. They may get it 80% right but how critical is the other 20%? They don't know....
+1 And to repeat what I've already said, you don't get a second chance to fix any errors after you're dead.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

shilpat
Posts: 13
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Re: estate Documents

Post by shilpat » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:14 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:27 pm
shilpat wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:11 pm
Thanks for all the responses. A little overwhelming for me to understand everything. But I will start with reading one of the books suggested.
Perhaps convince my husband to read one too :).

My main goal of estate planning is to make sure, that things are in order for the kids in case of unforeseen.
You won't understand everything and that's why you need an estate attorney to give you guidance and advice and explain your options. I constantly marvel at people I know who use 'form fillers' to create estate and trust documents. They may get it 80% right but how critical is the other 20%? They don't know.

There's no harm in reading and trying to understand as much as you can providing that you have the time and inclination, but my advice is to spend a couple thousand bucks on a good attorney and rest assured that (1) it's done right and, (2) your heirs have someone to help them deal with the details should something happen to you.

Good luck!

Thanks!

PatrickA5
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Re: estate Documents

Post by PatrickA5 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:42 pm

gretah wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:06 pm
ITA with reading, learning, then hiring an attorney for consult and drawing up documents.

I found these resources helpful. Most can be obtained from your library. They are popular, so request them rather than expect them to be available on the shelf.

Books
Making the Most of Your Money Now
and
How to Make Your Money Last
by Jane Quinn
The first book is the most comprehensive encyclopedia of concepts and tools for personal finance for the lay person in the US. Her explanations and advice are sound and simply written. The second book focuses on preserving funds through retirement.

Plan Your Estate
by Denis Clifford for Nolo Press
Great overview of all aspects of retirement and estate planning except how to anticipate and pay for medical expenses. Includes Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts, ways to avoid probate, and more. Terrific book to read before speaking to an estate planning attorney and insurance brokers.

8 Ways to Avoid Probate
by Mary Randolph for Nolo Press
Tools like Transfer on Death for real estate and vehicles, Payment on Death for bank accounts, and Trusts can be used to move parts of your estate into the possession of your heirs without the delay of probating your will. Avoiding probate is not a scheme to avoid taxes. This book expands on the information in the Plan Your Estate book.


Make your Own Living Trust
by Denis Clifford for Nolo Press
This book talks about Revocable Living Trusts and how to easily create one yourself. I initially read this book to learn about Trusts: what they can and cannot do so I would be informed about the issues when I met with a lawyer. But setting up a simple one turned out to be surprising easy so I did it and put my investments into it. (I had to make some changes to the book’s forms to comply with WA law.) This created a simple safe harbor for the investments. I’m still studying about other kinds of Trusts so I’ll be informed when my inheritance arrives and I can get an expert attorney to create a more comprehensive Trust.

Living Trusts for Everyone:
Why a Will is Not the Way to Avoid Probate, Protect Heirs, and Settle Estates
by Ron Sharp

Long-term Care: How to Plan and Pay for it
by JL Matthews for Nolo Press


The 5 Years Before You Retire
by Emily Birken
Good light overview of all aspects of retirement, including medical / long term care expenses, which is not covered in most books on retirement.


Article
Planning for Health Care Costs in Retirement
Online article published by Vanguard. Very thorough.
https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/ISGPLHC.pdf
I believe I read most of these books (plus others) last year while I was educating myself on estate plans. I even went to a few "seminars" by estate lawyers after reading as much as I could. Then, we met with a couple of lawyers. Had I not educated myself beforehand, I wouldn't have had a clue as to what they were trying to explain to me. Also, the "seminar" guys were trying to sell certain types of irrevocable trusts that I had no need for, but I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't studied trusts before attending. One guy was wanting $10K for a fairly simple trust! I strongly encourage educating yourself BEFORE talking to an attorney.

We ended up going with the following - written up by our estate lawyer:

Wills
Durable Power of Attorney (non-springing)
Health Care Directives
TOD Deed for 2 Homes

We also made sure all accounts were either Joint, TOD or POD. Basically, we have everything set up to not have to go through probate. At this point, we decided against a trust since our main goal was avoiding probate, but we might reconsider later if issues should come up that would make a trust more beneficial. In my state, probate is neither expensive or difficult, but might as well avoid it if we can.

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celia
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Re: estate Documents

Post by celia » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:33 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:00 pm
Gill wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:36 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:46 pm
Perhaps he should have identified himself as such before saying that he wouldn't spend his time reading the book that I recommended. If I were Mr. Steiner, I wouldn't read it either.
He is widely known on Bogleheads and doesn't need to introduce himself.
Sorry, not going to agree with that. The OP is a new member. It's not reasonable to require him or her...
I disagree with Earl. BSteiner and Gill are our resident estate lawyers, volunteering their time here as are other frequent responders. They respond in almost every thread here having to do with estate planning. They have to be careful about giving specific legal advice just as a doctor here can't give specific medical advice for your condition. But they can tell you the next step or what kind of professional you should consult with.

A lawyer is not going to advertise him- or herself as a lawyer since that can come across as trolling for new business. But it **IS** reasonable to expect a newbie to search the forum for a generic question like OP asks, because it seems like it is asked about once a month. I, for one, don't want to see the same question asked more frequently than that. I also think most newbies read the forum for a while to understand what happens here, before they jump in with their first post.

For example, here are recent threads that reference estate planning:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=261065 (October 10)
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=259110 (Sept 16)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=258159 (Sept 4)

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: estate Documents

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:43 pm

celia wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:33 pm
I disagree with Earl. BSteiner and Gill are our resident estate lawyers, volunteering their time here as are other frequent responders. They respond in almost every thread here having to do with estate planning. They have to be careful about giving specific legal advice just as a doctor here can't give specific medical advice for your condition. But they can tell you the next step or what kind of professional you should consult with.
That's all well and good, and many of us do know them, but there's no particular reason that a new person would. Like I said, the only way that would be the case is if the OP researched EVERY person who responded to check their forum "credentials". That's not really reasonable.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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LadyGeek
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Re: estate Documents

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:41 pm

As a reminder, it is very difficult to find information on a subject if you don't know what to search for. I was helped very early on by members who were willing to take the time and show me the appropriate search terms.

What's old-hat to one member is totally new and unknown to another. Also, dealing with your life's savings can rattle you emotionally. So, let's take the time and answer every question in a clear and respectful manner - regardless of how many times it's asked elsewhere in this forum.

Our experienced members should read: Please Do Not Bite the Newcomers
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afan
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Re: Estate Documents

Post by afan » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:16 pm

For those who have found this thread and are looking for more information on estate planning, a simple suggestion.

Read the posts by Gill and bsteiner. It is easy to search for their them. Newbies should know that bsteiner works actively as an attorney doing estate planning and settling estates. Gill is an attorney and CPA who spent his career in trust administration. He is expert on estate planning in general and specifically on how one runs trusts and inheritance issues.

Reading their posts does not have the advantage of an outline as you would find in a book. They answer the questions people ask. However, most people have the same questions so you will find the answers to much of what you need to know.

Once you get through them you would be well prepared to speak with an attorney about your needs.
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PalmQueen
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Re: Estate Documents

Post by PalmQueen » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:47 pm

I'll add one more resource in addition to the many already suggested.

Schwab's public website, has a section that provides an overview of the "whys and whats" of estate planning.
The page includes links to download their "Estate Planning Essentials" brochure and "Asset Inventory" template.

Here's the link:
https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/in ... checklist

Yes, you need estate documents and good for you for starting to research the process.
They'll include important documents to be used after you're gone, but just as important are the documents to be used while you're still here.
You'll name someone to act on your behalf in the event you're unable to make health and/or financial decisions for yourself. You'll also complete the HIPAA form giving medical providers permission to talk to your loved ones about you should the need arise.

Remember, once it's all done. Be sure the people who need the documents have them.

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